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Survey: More Than Half Of LA Residents Believe Race Relations Are Worsening

Graffiti on wall reads No Lifes Matter Till All Lives Matter." The graffiti is partially obscured by two young women standing in front of it.
Graffiti on a wall reads "No Lives Matter Till All Lives Matter."
(Chava Sanchez
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It's been 30 years since the 1992 Los Angeles Uprising, and when it comes to race relations, many think the city is going in the wrong direction.

That's according to a new Loyola Marymount University survey, which did its first analysis in 1997. At the time, 65% of respondents said they thought we could see similar unrest again.

LMU has repeated the survey every five years since then and initially saw declines. But beginning in 2017, the numbers have started trending upwards.

The latest survey from the university's Center for the Study of Los Angeles says 68% of L.A. residents now think a major disturbance is likely in the next five years.

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Center Director Brianne Gilbert says the rising anxiety may be due in part to police misconduct, especially after the murder of George Floyd.

"We kind of thought there'd be a different trajectory, with inflation, with issues in Los Angeles regarding homelessness, regarding housing affordability, there's just an overall frustration, and it's bubbling up," Gilbert said.

The random survey of just over 2,000 L.A. County residents was conducted in person, online and by telephone in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Korean. An equal number of Asian, Black, Latino/a and white residents participated in the survey, according to the report.

Gilbert said Black and Latino residents were more pessimistic about race relations than white and Asian respondents. Older people and long-time residents were also more likely to think race relations are worsening.

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